Just two weeks after 20-year-old Joshua Lipton seriously injured a woman while drunk driving, he attended a Halloween party dressed in a prison uniform, and the words ‘jail bird’ written on the uniform in place of his name.
A friend at the party posted the picture onto Facebook, where all of Lipton’s friends, along with the prosecutor for his DUI case, could see it.
Jay Sullivan, the prosecutor involved in Lipton’s case, used the picture in court as evidence that Lipton was an “unrepentant partier” who “lived it up” while the female victim of the crash remained in the hospital. The judge at Lipton’s trial agreed with the prosecutor, and handed out a two-year prison sentence.
While the picture is not 100 percent responsible for Lipton’s 2-year sentence, Judge Sullivan did say that is affected the his decision: “I did feel that gave me some indication of how that young man was feeling a short time after a near-fatal accident, that he thought it was appropriate to joke and mock about the possibility of going to prison.”
While some may argue that Lipton got what was coming to him for seriously injuring the woman he crashed into, this also offers another opportunity for others to learn from this mistake. So next time you’re thinking about putting something that could be detrimental to yourself or someone else on a social network like Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube – don’t.